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House Republicans in the dark on McCarthy’s shadow document

House Republicans in the dark on McCarthy’s shadow document

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Photo: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A personal document that only some House Republicans have seen and others refuse to talk about could play a huge role in how the chamber is run over the next two years.

Why it matters: Document contains discounts – not included in The rules package was passed on Monday night — that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had rebellious members of the Freedom Caucus secure the speaker’s gavel.

  • These members have endangered to kill McCarthy’s oratory as quickly as they agreed to it if he reneged on their handshake agreements.

News Movement: The existence of a “secret three-page supplement” containing “the most controversial concessions” McCarthy made to get elected was first reported by Punchbowl News on Monday and confirmed to Axios by multiple aides and members of the Republican Party.

  • One of those concessions is three seats set aside for the Conservatives on the Rules Committee, as well as their representation on the powerful Appropriations Committee.
  • Other McCarthy giveaways included votes on congressional term limits and a select committee on arming the federal government, a debt ceiling strategy and a more open process for amending appropriations bills.
  • One thing the document did not contain, according to NRCC Chairman Richard Hudson (RN.C.), who said he had seen it, was a promise to chair committees for specific members: “No names, just representation [on panels].”

The intrigue: Many of the GOP members Axios spoke to about the private document said they had not seen it, while others in leadership positions were particularly wary of any knowledge of it.

  • “I’m not at liberty to discuss whether I’ve seen it or not,” said Congressman Dusty Johnson (R.D.), chairman of the Main Street Caucus.
  • Asked if the document exists, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of the Rules Committee, told Axios, “I’m sure it exists because I read about it from you guys [in the press] The whole time. It should be there.”
  • Both Cole and Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) suggested it had not been circulated to all members of the Republican Party. “I don’t know if they all have [received a copy]” said Calvert, who said he personally reviews it.

What are they saying: Congresswoman Nancy Mays (RS.C.), who briefly threatened to vote no rule package on Monday, before stepping down, told Axios: “What I’m raising hell about is whatever potential backroom deals were made.”

  • “I have more questions than answers,” added Mays, who said she plans to stand up and speak on the issue at Tuesday’s GOP convention.
  • Other members also said they would like to see the text. “If it’s about the rules, I would think it would be spread,” said Congressman Ken Buck (R-Colo.).

What we watch: Some members speculated that details of the document could be revealed at Tuesday morning’s GOP conference meeting.

Bottom line: Rep. Carlos Jimenez (R-Fla.), ambivalent about wanting to see the text of the agreement, told Axios: “Do you really want to see how the sausage is made? I’m not sure.”

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